Pistorius set to be released on parole
Aug 20, 2015 Oscar Pistorius, a South African athlete will be released on parole on August 21 after serving 10 months of his five-year sentence for culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate and model, was shot on Valentine’s Day in 2013 by the star athletic through his toilet door at his luxury Pretoria residence. After a seven-month trial, the Olympic and Paralympic track star was sentenced to a 5-year jail term at the Pretoria central Prison.
The release of Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated when he was a baby, is in line with South African sentencing guidelines that say non-dangerous prisoners should spend only one-sixth of a custodial sentence behind bars.
The 29 year old is expected to wear an electronic tracking tag while serving what a prison state refers to as a “correctional supervision”.
The athlete, nicknamed ‘Blade Runner’ because of the carbon-fiber prosthetics he used during his stellar career on the track, will likely be allowed to leave the house to work, carry out community service or to attend important family events.
Prosecutors had pushed for a murder conviction, but the athlete maintained he fired in the mistaken belief that an intruder was hiding behind the door.
The state has appeals the October 2014 verdict and will seek a murder conviction, which could see Pistorius bagging a 15 year prison sentence if convicted.
Prior to this, the 29 year Old’s performance had come unto scrutiny by the athletics committee who claim his prosthetics leg gave him an undue advantage over other athletes.
In response to this, Mathieu Reeb, Secretary General of the Court of Arbitration for Sports said:
“In the appeal process, the tribunal has reviewed the scientific evidence brought by the parties, and has concluded that the IAAF did not establish that the prosthesis used by Oscar Pistorius give him an advantage over other athletes who are not using the same device…Oscar Pistorius is therefore eligible to compete in IAAF events provided that he uses the same prosthesis that were tested under the supervision of the IAAF and which were presented before the tribunal.”
The 29 year old athlete shared his thought on the courts verdict by saying:
“I think this day is going to go down in history for the equality of disabled people. I think it’s such a significant day in sports but as I say I am so happy about the outcome. It’s just…the last two days have been stressful but you know the outcome has been one of the best days of my life.”